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Ireland Rise To Fifth In Rankings

Ireland Rise To Fifth In Rankings

The two-try 29-9 victory over Argentina in the GUINNESS Series has moved Ireland up two places to fifth in the latest IRB World Rankings.

Indeed, Declan Kidney’s men are the only climbers in the top 10 of the latest IRB World Rankings with a two-place elevation to fifth on the back of the triumph over the Pumas at the Aviva Stadium.

That means Ireland will begin the 2011 RBS 6 Nations as the second-ranked team in the Northern Hemisphere, just behind England and ahead of reigning champions France.

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In the updated rankings, they leapfrogged over both France, who suffered a record 59-16 defeat to Australia, and Scotland, whose 19-16 victory over Samoa had no impact on their rating of 81.20.

New Zealand will end the year as the number one ranked side in the world – as they have done every year bar a Rugby World Cup one since the rankings were introduced in October 2003 – after completing a third Grand Slam tour over the home Unions in six years with a 37-25 win over Wales.

Australia’s emphatic success in France ensures they hold on to second place, reducing New Zealand’s cushion at the top to 5.74 points in the process.

South Africa’s 21-11 win over England ensures that the Southern Hemisphere continue to occupy the top three positions.

England, in fourth place, are now only seven tenths ahead of Ireland and there is little more than a point separating Martin Johnson’s charges from Scotland in seventh.

Argentina returned home with only one win from three Tests in November and are now more than two points adrift of Scotland, with Wales and Fiji rounding out the top 10.

Fiji’s 24-16 loss to Italy means they sit just three hundredths above Samoa, while the Azzurri’s win – only their third in 24 Tests – has seen them close to only seven tenths behind the two Pacific Island nations.

IRB WORLD RANKINGS (as of Monday, November 29):

Last week’s positions in brackets –

1(1) NEW ZEALAND 93.19 rating points
2(2) AUSTRALIA 87.45
3(3) SOUTH AFRICA 86.44
4(4) ENGLAND 82.48
5(7) IRELAND 81.79
6(5) FRANCE 81.66
7(6) SCOTLAND 81.20
8(8) ARGENTINA 78.97
9(9) WALES 77.04
10(10) FIJI 74.05